U.S. 1428: Alligator
|Animals (A-Z) 3
October 2-6, 2021
Peter Y. Chou
Australia 713: Zebra Finch
|Preface: After finishing Animals (A-Z) 2 in five days (Sept. 30), realized how many animals were left out in the two compilations Decided to compose Animals (A-Z) 3 choosing among these animals and birds Alligator, armadillo, beaver, buffalo, canary, cheetah, chimpanzee, dolphin, donkey, duck, elk, emu, firefly, flamingo, goose, heron, hippopotamus, ibex, ibis, jackal, jack rabbit, king cobra, kingfisher, leopard, llama, moose, mourning dove, newt, Norfolk terrier, octopus, opposum, peacock, penguin, quagga, quokka, rhinoceros, robin, salmon, seagull, squirrel, toucan, turkey, upland sandpiper, Ursula's sunbird, vaquita, vervet monkey, walrus, whooping crane, woodpecker, Xantus' becard, Xolmis dominicanue, yellowfin tuna, Yeticrab, zebra finch, zebra shark. Information source from Wikipedia. This compilation took five days to complete, using "Animals (A-Z) 2" as a template.|
U.S. 2950: Alligator
a crocodilian in genus Alligator of the family Alligatoridae.
The two extant species are the American alligator (A. mississippiensis)
and the Chinese alligator|
(A. sinensis). Alligators appeared during Oligocene epoch about 37 million years ago. American alligator's weight and length is 790 lb and 13 ft. Alligators are raised commercially for their meat and their skin, which when tanned is used for the manufacture of luggage, handbags, shoes, belts, and other leather items. Muja, an American alligator at Belgrade Zoo in Serbia is the oldest living alligator in the world, over 80 years old. "See you later, alligator" is a teenage slang, said when parting (1952).
A Animals: aardvark, albatross, alligator, angelfish, ant, anteater, armadillo
Canada 336: Beaver
Beaver: (Castor canadensis)
large, semiaquatic rodents in the genus Castor native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere.
There are two extant species: the North American beaver (Castor canadensis)
& Eurasian beaver (C. fiber). Beavers are second-largest living rodents after the capybaras.
They have stout bodies with large heads, long chisel-like incisors, brown or gray fur,
hand-like front feet, webbed back feet & flat, scaly tails.
They can be found in rivers, streams,
lakes and ponds. They are herbivorous, consuming tree bark, aquatic plants, grasses & sedges.
Beavers build dams & lodges using tree branches, vegetation, rocks & mud; they chew down trees
for building material. Beavers live up to 10 years.
over entrance to the Canadian Parliament Building.
"Busy as a beaver"
shows one's industriousness in work.|
B Animals: bat, bear, beaver, bee, bluejay, buffalo, butterfly
Zimbabwe 656: Cheetah
Cheetah: (Acinonyx jubatus)
a large cat native to Africa and central Iran. It is fastest land animal, running
at 50 to 80 mph, and as such
has several adaptations for speed, including a light build, long thin legs and a long tail.
It reaches 26-37 inches at the shoulder, & head-and-body length is between
3 ft 7 in and 4 ft 11 inches. Adults weigh between 46 and 159 lbs. Its head is small,
rounded, and has a short snout & black tear-like facial streaks. Coat is
tawny to creamy white or pale buff and is covered with evenly spaced, solid black spots.
Cheetah population was around 7,100 in the wild (2016).|
C Animals: camel, canary, carp, cat, centipede, chameleon,
chicken, chimpanzee, cicada, coelacanth, cow, coyote, crab
Switzerland 880: Donkey
Donkey: (E. africanus)
a domestic animal in the horse family. It derives from African wild ass,
and has been used as a working animal for at least 5000 years. There are more than 40 million
donkeys in the world, mostly in underdeveloped countries, where they are used principally
as draught or pack animals. Working donkeys are often associated with those living at or
below subsistence levels. Small numbers of donkeys are kept for breeding or as pets in
developed countries. A male donkey or ass is called a jack, a female a jenny or jennet;
a young donkey is a foal.
Palo Alto's Barron Park Donkeys;
Saw Niner & Perry. Niner died 2016. Now it's Perry and Buddy.
Sancho's donkey Dapple in Cervante's
Don Quixote (1605)|
D Animals: deer, dog, dolphin, donkey, dragonfly, duck
Australia 196: Emu
Emu: (Dromaius novaehollandiae)
second-largest living bird by height, after its ratite relative, the ostrich. It is endemic to
Australia where it is largest native bird and only extant member of the genus Dromaius.
The emu's range covers most of mainland Australia, but the Tasmanian, Kangaroo Island and King Island subspecies became extinct after the European settlement of Australia in 1788.
Emus are soft-feathered, brown, flightless birds with long necks and legs, and can reach up to 6.2 ft in height. Emus can travel great distances,
and when necessary can sprint at 31 mph.
1992 census on total population was between 630,000 and 725,000.
Australia's coat of arms shows a kangaroo and emu.
Emu oil sold
to fight dryness, itching, and as powerful skin & hair moisturizing agent
with anti wrinkle actions.|
E Animals: eagle, eel, elephant, elk, emu, ermine, English setter
Chad 777: Flamingo
Flamingo: (P. jamesi)
a type of wading bird in the family Phoenicopteridae, only bird family in order Phoenicopteriformes.
Four flamingo species are distributed throughout the Americas, including Caribbean, and two species
are native to Africa, Asia, and Europe.
lamingos usually stand on one leg, with the other being tucked beneath the body. The reason for this behaviour is not fully understood.
The greater flamingo is the tallest of the six different species of flamingos, standing at 3.9 to 4.7 feet with a weight up to 7.7 pounds.
Flamingoes can open their bills by raising the upper jaw as well as by dropping the lower.
Plastic Flamingos are popular U.S. lawn ornaments.
Kay Ryan's poem "Flamingo Watching" (1994),
Stephen Jay Gould's
The Flamingo's Smile (1985).
Photos in 2019 at San Francisco Zoo
F Animals: falcon, firefly, flamingo, flounder, fly, fox, fox terrier, frog
Hungary C142: Grasshopper
Grasshopper: (Schistocerca americana)
a group of insects belonging to suborder Caelifera. They date back to early Triassic around 250 million years ago.
Grasshoppers are ground-dwelling insects with powerful hind legs which allow them
to escape from threats by leaping vigorously.
When they form swarms, they are known as locusts, causing famine, since Biblical times.
A large grasshopper can jump about a metre (twenty body lengths) without using its wings.
They live for about 51 days as an adult.
In the TV series Kung Fu (1972-1975),
Master Po (Keye Luke) calls his young student Caine (David Carradine) "Grasshopper" to be always alert.|
G Animals: gazelle, German shepherd, giraffe, goat, goose, gopher, golden retriever, gorilla, great blue heron, greyhound.
Angola 379: Hippopotamus
Hippopotamus: (Hippopotamus amphibius)
a large, mostly herbivorous, semiaquatic mammal and ungulate native to sub-Saharan Africa.
The name comes from ancient Greek for "river horse"".
After the elephant and rhinoceros, hippopotamus is the third-largest type of land mammal.
Adults average 3,310 lbs for males. Despite its stocky shape and short legs, it is capable
of running 19 mph over short distance.
The jaw hinge is located far back enough to allow the animal to open its mouth at almost 180o.
A hippo's lifespan is 40-50 years.
Their diet in nature consists almost entirely of grass, with only minimal consumption of aquatic plants.
"The Hippopotamus Polka" (1850);
Hugo the Hippo film (1975);
Hippopotamus film (2017).|
H Animals: hamster, hare, hedgehog, hermit crab, heron,
hippopotamus, horse, hummingbird, humpback whale, hyena.
Australia 411: Ibis
Ibis: (Threskiornis melanocephalus))
a group of long-legged wading birds in the family Threskiornithidae,
that inhabit wetlands, forests and plains. "Ibis" derives from the Latin and Ancient Greek
word for this group of birds.
Ibises all have elongated, downcurved bills, and usually feed as a group,
probing mud for food items, usually crustaceans. They are monogamous and
highly territorial while nesting and feeding. Most nest in trees, often
with spoonbills or herons.
Mascot of the University of Miami
is an American white ibis named
The ibis was selected as the school mascot because of its legendary bravery
during hurricanes. According to legend, the ibis is the last sign of wildlife
to take shelter before a hurricane hits and the first to reappear once the storm has passed.
According to Josephus, Moses used the ibis to help him defeat the Ethiopians.|
I Animals: ibex, ibis, iguana, impala, Indian elephant, Irish doodle
Ifni B32: Jackal
Jackal: (Canis aureus)
medium-sized omnivorous mammals of the subtribe Canina, which also includes wolves and the domestic dog,
among other species. While the word "jackal" has historically been used for many small canines,
in modern use it most commonly refers to three species: the closely related black-backed jackal
& side-striped jackal of sub-Saharan-Africa, and golden jackal of south-central Europe and Asia.
Jackals are opportunistic omnivores, predators of small to medium-sized animals and proficient
scavengers. Their long legs & curved canine teeth are adapted for hunting small mammals, birds,
and reptiles, and their large feet & fused leg bones give them a physique well-suited for
long-distance running, capable of speeds of 9.9 mph for extended periods of time.
It is mentioned 14 times in the Bible as a "wild dog".
J Animals: jackal, jack rabbit, jaguar, jellyfish
Vietnam 1978: King Cobra
King Cobra: (Ophiophagus hannah)
a venomous snake species of elapids endemic to jungles in Southern & Southeast Asia.
Sole member of genus Ophiophagus, it is different from other cobras,
by its size & neck patterns. King cobra is world's longest venomous snake,
with length of 10.4 to 13.1 ft, reaching a maximum of 19.2 ft. Its skin color
varies across the habitats, from black with white stripes to unbroken brownish grey.
It preys chiefly on other snakes, including its own species. Unlike other snakes,
it rarely hunts non-reptile vertebrates, such as rodents and lizards.
Lifespan of a wild king cobra is about 20 years. A ritual in Myanmar involves
a king cobra & a female snake charmer. She is a priestess who is
tattooed with three pictograms and kisses the snake on the top of
its head at end of the ritual (YouTube).|
K Animals: kangaroo, killer whale, king cobra, kingfisher,
king penguin, koala, Komodo dragon, krill, kudu
Peru 461: Llama
(issued in 1953)
Llama: (Lama glama)
a domesticated South American camelid, used as a meat & pack animal by Andean cultures
since the Pre-Columbian era.
Llamas are very social animals and live with others as a herd. Their wool is very soft
and lanolin-free. Llamas can learn simple tasks after a few repetitions. When using a pack,
they can carry about 25 to 30% of their body weight for 5-8 miles. The name llama
(in the past also spelled "lama" or "glama") was adopted by European settlers from
native Peruvians. As of 2007, there were over seven million llamas & alpacas in South America,
and over 158,000 llamas in the U.S.
Llamas showed up in nursing homes & hospitals as certified therapy animals.
Inca deity Urcuchillay was depicted in the form of a multicolored llama.|
L Animals: lemur, leopard, Lhasa Apso, lion, llama, lobster, lynx
Canada 1693: Moose
Moose: (Alces alces)
member of New World deer subfamily & is largest & heaviest species
in the deer family. Male moose have broad, palmate ("open-hand shaped")
antlers; deer family have antlers with a dendritic ("twig-like") configuration.
Moose inhabit boreal forests of Northern Hemisphere.
Moose population: Canada 750,000; Russia 600.000; Sweden 400,000; U.S. 300,000.
Moose do not form herds and are solitary animals.
Moose stands 4.6-6.9 ft high at the shoulder, and weigh from 838 to 1,543 lbs.
Antlers of Alaskan bull moose (5 to 12 years old)
have a spread greater than 79 inches with weight up to 79 lbs.
Seal of Michigan shows an elk and moose.
Coat of Arms of Hirvensalmi (Finland) is a moose.|
M Animals: macaw, magpie, mallard, mandrill, mayfly, mink,
mole, monkey, moose, moth, mourning dove, mouse, mule
French Andorra 377: Newt
Stamp depicting a newt, designed
by French artist François Guiol.
Newt: (Euproctus asper)
a salamander in the subfamily Pleurodelinae. The terrestrial juvenile phase is called an eft.
Unlike other members of the family Salamandridae, newts are semiaquatic, alternating between
aquatic and terrestrial habitats.
More than 100 known species of newts are found.
Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental life stages: aquatic larva, terrestrial juvenile (eft),
and adult. Adult newts have lizard-like bodies & return to the water every year to breed,
otherwise living in humid, cover-rich land habitats.
Shakespeare's Macbeth IV:1.15 "Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat & tongue of dog" (1606).|
N Animals: narwhal, newt, nightingale, Norfolk terrier
Grenadines of St. Vincent 171:
Opossum (issued 3-8-1979)
a marsupial of the order Didelphimorphia endemic to the Americas. Largest order
of marsupials in the Western Hemisphere, it comprises 110+ species in 19 general.
In U.S. and Canada, the only species found is the Virginia opossum. It is often
simply referred to as an "opossum", and in North America they are commonly
referred to as possums, sometimes rendered as 'possums in written form to
indicate the dropped "o". The opossum is a nonaggressive animal.
As nocturnal animals, they favor dark, secure areas.
When harmed or threatened, they will "play possum", mimicking
appearance of a sick or dead animal. Poem: "Opossum" (2-13-2021).|
O Animals: ocelot, octopus, opossum, orangutan, ostrich, otter, owl
Jaipur 28: Peacock
(issued in 1931)
Peacock: (Pavo cristatus)
The Indian peafowl, native
to the Indian subcontinent. The peacock is
brightly colored, with a blue fan-like crest of spatula-tipped wire-like
feathers and is best known for the long train made up of elongated upper-tail
covert feathers which bear
colorful eyespots. These stiff feathers are raised
into a fan and quivered in a display during courtship. Despite the length and
size of these covert feathers, peacocks are still capable of flight.
It lives on the ground in open forest or on land under
cultivation where they forage for berries, grains but also prey on snakes,
lizards, and small rodents. Their loud calls make them easy to detect.
They fly into tall trees to roost. They live 15 years in the wild and 23 years in zoos.
Peacock is the
national bird of India & logo of
P Animals: panda, panther, parakeet, parrot, peacock, pelican, penguin, peregrine falcon, pheasant, pig, pigeon, platypus,
polar bear, poodle, porcupine, porpoise, puffin, puma
Tanzania 1715d: Quokka
Quokka: (Setonyx brachyurus)
also known as the short-tailed scrub wallaby, is a small macropod about the size of a domestic cat.
It is the only member of the genus Setonix. Like other marsupials in the macropod family
(kangaroos & wallabies), the quokka is herbivorous & mainly nocturnal.
A quokka weighs 5.5 to 11 lbs and is 16 to 21 inches long with a 9.8-to-12 inches tail.
In 2007, quokka population on Rottnest Island was between 8,000 and 12,000.
In mid-2010s, quokkas touted on the internet as "the world's happiest animals"
and symbols of positivity due to their beaming smiles.|
The "quokka selfie" has become a popular social media trend.
Q Animals: quagga, quail, quetzal, quokka, Queen Victoria Riflebird
French Equatorial Africa 166: Rhinoceros
(Diceros bicornis) a member of any of the five extant species
of odd-toed ungulates in family Rhinocerotidae. Two of extant species
are native to Africa, and three to South & Southeast Asia.
They have a herbivorous diet, small brains (400-600 g) for mammals
of their size, one or two horns, and a thick (2 inches) protective skin formed
from layers of collagen positioned in a lattice structure.
The two African species of rhinoceros lack teeth at front of their mouths; they rely
instead on their lips to pluck food.
Black rhinoceros stands 59-69 inches high at the shoulder, 11-13 ft in length.
weighing from 1,870 to 3,530 lbs.
Common misconception that rhinoceros horn in powdered form is used as an aphrodisiac.
Albrecht Dürer created a famous woodcut of a rhinoceros in 1515.|
R Animals: rabbit, raccoon, rat, rattlesnake, red fox, reindeer, rhinoceros, robin, rottweiler, Russell terrier
China C69: Seagull
Seagull: (Larus schistisagus)
seabirds of the family Laridae in the suborder Lari. They are most closely related to the terns
(family Sternidae) and only distantly related to auks, skimmers and even more distantly to waders.
Gulls are medium to large birds, grey or white, often with black markings
on the head or wings. They have harsh wailing or squawking calls; stout, longish bills;
and webbed feet. Most gulls are ground-nesting carnivores which take live food or scavenge
them. They have a maximum age of 49 years.
Great black-backed gull, weigh 3 lb 14 oz and 30 inches long.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
by Richard Bach was a best-selling story (1972) with a million copies sold.
It was at the top of the New York Times Best Seller list for 37 weeks.
Poem: "Seagull Circus Show" (6-18-2012)|
S Animals: saber-toothed tiger, sable, Saint Bernard, salamander, salmon, sawfish, scorpion, seagull, sea lion, seahorse, seal, shark, sheep, Shih Tzu, shrimp, Siberian tiger, skunk, sloth, snail, snake, snowy owl, sparrow, spider, squid, squirrel, starfish, stingray, sturgeon, swan
Albania 1087: Turkey
a large bird in the genus Meleagris, native to North America. There are two extant turkey species:
wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) of eastern & central North America and ocellated turkey
(Meleagris ocellata) of Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Males of both turkey species have a
distinctive fleshy wattle, called a snood, that hangs from top of the beak. They are among the
largest birds in their ranges.
Earliest turkeys evolved in North America over 20 million years ago and share a recent
common ancestor with grouse, pheasants, and other fowl. The wild turkey species is
the ancestor of the domestic turkey, which was domesticated 2,000 years ago.
Americans eat turkey on special occasions
at Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Shakespeare's Twelfth Night II.v.32:|
"O, peace! Contemplation makes a rare turkey-cock of him: how
he jets under his advanced plumes!"
T Animals: tapir, Tasmanian Devil, termite, terrier,
tiger, tiger shark, tortoise, toucan, tsetse fly, tuna, turkey
Venda 111: Upland sandpiper
Upland Sandpiper: (Bartramia longicauda)
large sandpiper, closely related to the curlews. Older names are the upland plover and Bartram's sandpiper.
An adult is roughly 12 inches long with a 26 inch wingspan. Average weight is 6 oz.
This odd bird has a small dove-like head on a long neck. It is heavily marbled black & brown
on the back & wings. Neck is streaked with dark brown which continues down to the breast
& on to the flanks. The belly & undertail coverts are white. The tail is quite long for
a sandpiper. The upland also sports a white eye-ring and long yellow legs.
is a 1965 movie directed by Vincente Minnelli, starring Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor
(as Laura Reynolds) who nurses a sandpiper with a broken wing,
until it is healed and then flies free.|
U Animals: uakari, uguisu, utonagan, Ultramarine Flycatcher
Unicoloured Blackbird, Upland Sandpiper, Ursula's Sunbird
Rwanda 859: Vervet Monkey
Vervet Monkey: (Chlorocebus pygerythrus)
or simply vervet, is an Old World monkey of the family Cercopithecidae native to Africa.|
The term "vervet" is also used to refer to all the members of the genus Chlorocebus. The five distinct subspecies can be found throughout Southern Africa, as well as some of the eastern countries. Vervets were introduced to Florida, St. Kitts and Nevis, Barbados, and Cape Verde. These mostly herbivorous monkeys have black faces and grey body hair color. Males weigh between 8.6 and 17.6 lb), with body length between 17 and 24 inches, from top of the head to base of the tail. Their lifespan is up to 12 years in the wild and 24 years in captivity. Excavations at end of 1st century AD, showed vervet monkeys were kept as pets in Egypt.
V Animals: vampire bat, vaquita, vervet monkey, vizsla, vulture
Canada 335: Walrus
(Odobenus rosmarus) a large flippered marine mammal with a discontinuous distribution
about the North Pole in the Arctic Ocean and subarctic seas of the Northern Hemisphere.
This species is subdivided into two subspecies: Atlantic walrus, in
Atlantic Ocean, and Pacific walrus, in Pacific Ocean.
Adult walrus are characterised by prominent tusks & whiskers, and their considerable bulk:
adult males in the Pacific can weigh more than 4,400 pounds.
Arctic peoples have hunted walrus for its meat, fat, skin, tusks, and bone.
Walruses live to 20-30 years old in the wild. In 2006, population of Pacific walrus
was around 129,000. The "walrus" in the cryptic Beatles song
"I Am the Walrus" (1967)
is a reference to the Lewis Carroll poem
"The Walrus and the Carpenter" (1871).|
W Animals: walrus, warthog, wasp, water buffalo, weasel,
Welsh terrier, whale, whooping crane, wildebeest, wolf,
wolverine, wombat, woodpecker, wooly mammoth
Brazil 2583: Xantus Becard
The most distinguishing characteristics of this bird is the rose colored neck bib
found in adult males. Males are mostly gray in color, with a contrasting darker
upperside and a pale gray underside. Males also show a black crown. Females are
mostly brown in color, with a rusty brown upperside, and a pale buffy underside.
The crown is a dark gray, not nearly as stunning as the males. Its usual call
is a mournful seeeeuuuwww.
"Xantus's Becard (Platypsaris Albiventris) in the Huachuca Mountains, Southern Arizona"
by Will W. Price, Auk, Vol. 5, No. 4 (1888), page 425.|
X Animals: Xantus' becard, xerus, Xolmis dominicanus, xoloitzcuintli
Gambia 253: Yellowfin Tuna
Yellowfin Tuna: (Thunnus albacares)
a species of tuna found in pelagic waters of tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide.
Yellowfin is often marketed as ahi, from the Hawaiian 'ahi', a name also used there for
the closely related bigeye tuna. The species name, albacares ("white meat") can also lead
to confusion: in English, the albacore (Thunnus alalunga) is a different species,
while yellowfin is officially designated albacore in French and referred to as
albacora by Portuguese fishermen. Yellowfin tuna is among the larger tuna species,
weighting over 400 lb, but is smaller than Atlantic & Pacific bluefin tunas,
weighing over 990 lbs (Yellowfin Tuna caught).
Y Animals: yak, yellowfin tuna, Yeticrab, Yorkshire terrier
Malta 1238: Zebra Finch
Zebra Finch: (Poephila guttata)
the most common estrildid finch of Central Australia and ranges over most of the continent,
avoiding only the cool moist south and some areas of the tropical far north. It can also be
found natively on Timor island. The bird has been introduced to Puerto Rico and Portugal.
Zebra finch may reach up to five years in its natural environment. When caged, they can
live as long as 12 years. Zebra finches are loud and boisterous singers. Their calls can
be a loud beep, meep, oi! or a-ha!. Their song is a few small beeps, leading up to a
rhythmic song of varying complexity in males. Male zebra finches begin to sing at puberty,
while females lack a singing ability.
Z Animals: zebra, zebra finch, zebra shark, zebu.
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